A torn labrum is usually a diagnosis made either by MRI or history and physical exam in which a patient complains of shoulder instability. The question of fixing a torn labrum implies the patient knows its torn, of course. What is more important to me as the physician is several other key questions – I’d ask my patient what bothers you? Does your shoulder feel unstable? Does it dislocate with little effort ? Have you had a dislocation? Answers to such questions, including other factors like age, activity level, and physical exam all play into the final answer ! Often the answer of surgical or non-surgical treatment is based on patient symptoms, not just an MRI finding of a torn labrum. Patients with arthritis of the shoulder often show torn labral tissue on MRI or at the time of arthroscopy, for example, and fixing this labral tear is not likely a good idea. One must always balance the risks of surgery like shoulder stiffness and limited range of motion with the option of repairing a labral tear. If this question has come into your world lately, be sure to come in and see me to discuss it further before jumping to surgery just because you have a tear.